Going Dutch – Moses, James Bond, and the Christian Entrepreneur

by Brad Harmon on November 9, 2009 in Leadership

james bond holding gun 600x360 | marketplace christianityLast week, I published a post titled Are you Recommended by God? where I looked at the qualities of a man named Bezalel.  God handpicked him by telling Moses that Bezalel was the man to head up the most important national project in the history of the Israelites up to that point.

Bezalel was charged with crafting the ark of the covenant, the tabernacle, the alters, the priestly garments, and the other holy relics.  You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, I can see an Indiana Jones reference, but how does James Bond fit into this story?  Or better yet, the Dutch?”

Going Dutch

I received a comment on my post from a Dutch blogger named Leon de Rijke (his blog is written in Dutch, but Google translator works well).  He pointed out that God also tapped Oholiab to assist Bezalel.  I had left him out because I was saving him for another post on leadership, but Leon gave a quick outline of this passage that I just absolutely loved.

He pointed out that Bezalel was

  • properly briefed (he knew what to do, his vocation)
  • properly trained (he knew how to do it)
  • properly resourced (he had tools etc)
  • properly supported (he had an assistant)

Isn’t that a great outline?  I was so impressed with it that I asked him if he had written a post already using that outline (if not I was going to “steal” it).

“Bond, James Bond”

He replied back saying that he had not, and that it was actually from a video comparing Christians and James Bond.  To quote the great thinker of our times, Mylie Cyrus, “Say Wha-aaat?”  I clicked on the link in his reply and found this video.

The video was made by the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC).  I don’t know much about this group, but the videos they have posted on YouTube are great.  I like the line where he compared Bond to Sampson, but his four quick bullet points at the end are very true.  As entrepreneurs, we are often guilty of not properly training, equipping, and supporting our people and business.

Moses & Aaron, Bezalel & Oholiab

God seldom calls us to act alone on his behalf.  There is great comfort and strength in having someone with whom we can share our burden.  Moses was given his brother Aaron because he was not a good speaker (he ended up being very good at speaking but Aaron was of considerable help to him).  God appointed Oholiab to assist Bezalel.

It’s been this way from the very beginning when He made Eve.  Genesis 2:18 says

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

The Christian Entrepreneur - Servant LeadershipThis verse has often been misinterpreted to show that a man is superior to a woman, but this is clearly refuted over and over again in the Bible.  I make this point because we tend to make the same mistake in our view of the owner/boss to employee relationship.  As Christian Entrepreneurs, we must remember we are given people to assist us in our calling from God, but we are also meant to assist them.

True leadership is that demonstrated by Christ, servant leadership.  It’s recognizing that, because you have been charged with the responsibility for your team, you must suppress your pride and become a servant to your team.  It is only then that each of our strengths can complement weaknesses of another to create a stronger team.

Providing Resources for Our Business

As Christian Entrepreneurs, we need to make sure that we properly resource our business (especially if we have employees).  God did not simply call Bezalel, but he equipped him as well.  In Exodus 31:6, God says

Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him.  Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.

We must recognize that God also provides us with the resources to accomplish His calling.  It comes back to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  It is in the accepting that our vocation is a calling from God that points our focus towards Him.  It is this focus that transforms us into a Christian entrepreneur.

Bezalel was given a skilled helper and skilled laborers.  He was also given the raw materials.  Remember that the Israelites where without a home to call their own – they were nomads at this point.  Where were they to get all of the resources necessary to complete this work while nomads in a barren land?

It was the wealth given to them by the distraught Egyptians as the Israelites started their mass exodus.  These same resources that they had earlier used to craft their golden calf were now being employed by God to craft His holy artifacts.  There’s a good listen here about how we treat the resources God has entrusted to our care.

Thank You

There are probably many more lessons we could learn from Bezalel and Oholiab.  One of the things that I love the most about the Bible is how these brief mentions of people, that are so often glossed over, can provide us with so much insight.

You just never know when your footnote in life will serve as the inspiration to others.  Many times the comments on my blog, and the blogs of others, are often more insightful and informative than the original post itself.

Thank you Leon for your comment.  I hope you, and my other readers, will leave many more.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

msfreeman November 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

This is truly an insightful post. I remember when I was younger and working at the local fast food joint. Finally I got a promotion to shift leader. It was my responsibility to make sure customer got served quick fast and in a hurry. The first few weeks of being at the helm I would work the rush with the crew and then retreat to the managers office or go out back and smoke(I quit that). While I was retreating it was the the expectation of the crew to restock and clean up.

They were not. They were lallygagging about.

It finally occurred to me that if I continued to hold myself above them rather than work along side them none of us were going to succeed.

I think that is along the same lines as you spoke or am I off track LOL:)

Reply

Brad Harmon November 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Ms. Freeman,

Nope, not off track at all. While we should expect our employees to perform their duties, we have to remember that treating them like servants is no way to inspire them. I think working along side them and occasionally pitching in to help them with their jobs is a great way to show that you care, and a perfect opportunity to get honest feedback from them. It is also a way to determine if you are properly equipping them to be successful.

Great example.

Brad

Reply

Leon de Rijke November 10, 2009 at 3:38 am

Thanks for using my comment as the basis for this post! The LICC does a tremendous job in the UK in spreading the message of a whole-life discipleship. Mark Greene, the director, has written a book called “Thank God, It's Monday!”, which is a must read if you're into faith in the workplace.

Brad, I really like the way you bring up Moses/Aaron here. Setting up teams of leaders with assistance seems to be Gods strategy, doesn't it?

Reply

Brad Harmon November 10, 2009 at 7:07 am

No problem, thank you again for the inspiration. We do see that strategy play out over and over again in the Bible.

Thanks for the book recommendation. I will add it to my list to read.

Reply

goodwordediting November 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

Great post. Great video. Laity Lodge and TheHighCalling.org have done some limited work with Mark Greene. He's a great guy.

My favorite thing about Bezalel is his willingness to accept a limited role. He is the artisan–but Moses himself assembles the tabernacle. I love that Bezalel contributes important work, then passes that work to others, and acknowledges that he is not holy enough to engage the final product.

Once the holy objects go into the tabernacle, only the high priest can interact with them. I love the idea that our work can become too holy for us if/when God gets involved.

Reply

Brad Harmon November 13, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Very insightful, that's a hard lesson to learn. It is hard to accept a limited role sometimes, isn't it? The Bible is filled with people like Bezalel who, despite being limited sometimes to just a mere mention of their name, make important contributions and then step back out of the spotlight – adding their thread to the tapestry of God's plan.

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